Panama

mar 2019

"Mucho mas que un canal" or “much more than a canal,”

says Panama’s advertising slogan, and we can’t help but agree! Whatever your idea of the ideal holiday is - exploring the capital’s diverse highlights, relaxing on a white sandy beach, catching some waves, or glimpsing tropical birds in a jungle - you’ll find it in spades in our tour of Panama.

2-3 Days in Panama City

Panama City is a truly Latin American metropolis. It offers a heady mix of European colonial architecture in the Casco Viejo quarter and modern glass skyscrapers found in the downtown business district. Luxury shops sit side-by-side with squats. One minute you’ll be mistaken for thinking you’re in Miami, next there are unmistakable Havana vibes. The diversity of people is just as intriguing. Busy locals on their way to work pass barefoot children playing on the street, relaxed expats come from the world over as do investment bankers in their tailored business suits, while surfers and eco-tourists arrive for their own slice of paradise. Plus, there are plenty of hawkers selling Panama hats!
Our first two days will be spent in Panama City soaking up the sight and sounds. By day we’ll explore the city and visit the giant cargo ships of the Panama Canal, by night we’ll take hold of Panama’s intoxicating party scene - hitting a few of the city’s outdoor bars and trying what’s arguably the world’s very best mojito!

One Week of Surfing in Bocas del Toro

THE GEAR WE PACK

shortboardbeach towelboard shortsurfboard leashessurfboard waxsurfboard finssunglassesslipperspineapple, mangoswallow tail surfboardbikini bottom
Once we’ve partied hard in Panama City, we’ll be ready to jump on a bus and head west to the Bocas del Toro region on the Caribbean coast. This natural wonder is made up of nine islands and 251 coral reefs.
We’ll sleep in stilt huts right above the warm waters of the Caribbean, and from our overwater bungalow we’ll fall asleep to the gentle sound of rippling water underneath. We’ll get around by water taxi, and each day we’ll go by boat to the best beaches to sunbathe or terrific reef breaks to surf.
Another option is to try one of the many snorkelling sites. Brightly coloured corals, teeming with sea life are waiting for you! Alternatively, grab a book and relax on one of the nearby pristine sandy beaches. There’ll be other opportunities to head out and catch a glimpse of dolphins, or take a trip into the jungle to find toucans, parrots, monkeys and iguanas!

Last Two Days in Paradise – San Blas Islands

island area337kmpopulation31 577ethnic groups100%Kuna Indian378islands49inhabited islandsislandsJANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPTOCTNOVDEC26.527.5272726.5272726.526262627average temperature— °C
Anyone who’s ever read Robinson Crusoe or been anxious alongside Tom Hanks in Cast Away will have wondered what it would be like on a tiny uninhabited island. And for two days we’ll find out, with a Caribbean island all to ourselves.
The San Blas Islands are northeast of Panama City, in the Caribbean Sea. The island-chain is made up of 378 islands, of which only 49 are inhabited. To this day the archipelago is predominantly inhabited by Kuna Indians. This tribal community has had a big impact on keeping the islands’ unspoilt nature intact. Because the Kuna manage most of the accommodations on the islands, big hotel chains have been kept out – so large tourists groups don’t come and disturb the overall Zen.
From every vantage point – not just from certain camera angles – these islands are postcard-perfect. As the crowning jewel of our Panama itinerary, we’ll spend two days relaxing on the tranquil beaches of one of the uninhabited San Blas Islands. There’ll be plenty of time for snorkelling, and as we explore the underwater world we’ll find the true meaning of “paradise on Earth.”
Panamericana– Surf & Turf

mAR 2019

€1600

ability level

beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert

BEST suited for

couples, solo traveler, groups

meeting point

Panama City airport / upon agreement in case of group travel

weather

tropical climate, sun, 28°C water, 35°C

surf conditions

sandy beaches, boat access reef breaks, turquoise 28 °C water

surf package

daily boat trips to the best surfing points based on experience and the actual swell and weather

accommodation

cool and authentic hostel, hotel, cabanas for 2 or 3 people

local transportation

bus, boat

free time/nightlife

doing yoga, party hard in various locations, stroll around empty beaches, snorkeling, sunbathing, climbing on palm trees

how big is the group?

up to 24 people

what’s included

accommodation, transportation, surfaris by boat, snorkel tours, breakfast in Bocas and San Blas, full meal in San Blas

what’s not included

flight ticket, insurance, visa, surf renting, other meals, alcohol, visa if needed

application deadline

4 months prior the trip

installment payment plan

40% upon application, 60% 2 month prior arrival
Send us your application! Once we receive your details, we will send you the booking information. To confirm your booking, a deposit of 40% of the price of the given trip (or the full balance if within two months of the departure date) is required. This can be done by bank transfer.

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Panamericana Q & A

Do I need a visa?

It depends on your nationality. From most of the countries you will only need to fill out an immigration form on arrival for free. Please always check it on your local embassy’s website.

What will the weather be like, what kind of clothes should I take?

During the daytime it’s sunny, around 28-35°C, during the night it’s around 28 °C. The water is 28 °C. Board short, bikini, rash vest is needed. One jumper and a rain coat will be enough for sure! Don’t forget the suncream and your hat at home!

For what kind of health issues should I be prepared?

There is a good level of hygiene, no stomach infection has occurred in the last years. Zika is a risk in Panama, so it’s good to get actual information on https://www.cdc.gov/ if you’re pregnant or planning to have a child in 6 month!

What about food?

All around Panama there are really good restaurants based on fresh seafood and chicken. Everything is fresh and clean, but this is Central-America, which is not that cheap. In Bocas del Toro the breakfast is included in the package and in San Blas islands you’ll get a full meal service.

What kind of bags and how much stuff should I bring?

Don’t pack too many clothes, you’ll not use them! It’s good to have a smaller bag with you because when we go to San Blas we can leave the big bag in the Panama city hotel, and it will be easier to move between the islands with a smaller bag.

What kind of vaccinations should I have?

Please ask your local health authority. Usually there are no mandatory vaccinations.

Is the country safe?

Panama is one of the safest countries of the region, so don’t worry!

How much pocket money will I need?

Panama is not the cheapest country ever. A daily 50 USD is the minimum pocket money you will need, but if you want to eat a lot of lobsters it’s better to count with more.

What is the local currency and where to change money?Are there ATM-s and can I pay by card?

US dollar is the local currency. The best is if you arrive with USD, as changing is not widely spread. The big cities have ATMs, but most of the places do not accept cards. Better to have cash!

I’ve never surfed before, can I still come?

Obviously yes, in half of the camp there is a possibility to surf, otherwise the program is full of adventures, surfing is only one of them. For total beginners we provide lessons, standing up on a board for the first time is one of the best experiences!

I'm kind of good in surf, won't I get bored?

Bocas del Toro has world class reef breaks, even if the swell is not the most consistent. If we are lucky you can have your best surf experiences of your lifetime.

What can I do if I don’t like surfing?

Obviously yes, in half of the camp there is a possibility to surf, otherwise the program is full of adventures, surfing is only one of them. If you like crystal clear water, snorkeling, eating seafood and partying, then this is your place!

What kind of insurance should I take out?

You should choose an insurance which expands surfing and is valid in Panama. You should be aware that your bank card insurance is not valid in most cases.

What kind of accommodations should I expect on the trip?

In Panama city we’ll stay in a very good quality hostel in the city center, in Bocas del Toro the accommodation is the most appealing among the islands, small yellow houses standing on piers on crystal clear water. In San Blas we’ll stay very close to the nature, if you want the best experience, you should sleep under the stars.

Is it a problem if I want to come alone?

Not at all. There are always people who come alone, so you can be sure that you’ll make new friends!
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